GFNS Golden Gran Fondo Timed Sections
Here's a preview of the Golden Gran Fondo, one of the toughest one day Gran Fondo's in America with around 10,000 feet of climbing through Colorado's Rocky Mountains. With up to four timed climbs, cyclists can compete for a range of prizes. Experience the Coors Classic and American Flyers - all in one day!
The Golden Gran Fondo in Colorado will take riders on an unforgettable journey through the Rocky Mountains.
It starts by tracing the route of the inaugural USA Pro Cycling Challenge towards continental divide. It features some of the same roads used in the Coors Classic and featured in the movie American Flyers (Kevin Costner’s classic cycling film that was set in the town of Golden).
Upon reaching the scenic Peak to Peak Highway, racers will be treated to high alpine vistas, lung busting ascents, a taste of hard pack dirt road, and a total of 10,000 feet of climbing before returning to downtown Golden where riders can replenish their exhausted bodies but full souls. This course is sure to test your climbing prowess while treating you to some of the most ruggedly beautiful landscapes anywhere.
Fear not - there’s a Medio Fondo of 53 miles and a Piccolo Fondo of just over 18 miles for all levels of fitness for riders to enjoy!
Leaving Golden around North Table Mountain, the first climb arrives after 7 miles - after turning right onto West 56th Avenue, aka "Kick Ass Hill". For the Gran Fondo and Medio Fondo riders it’s a warmup for whats to follow! The climb is approx 1.8 miles and contains 287 feet of climbing, an average of 3% gradient, no steeper than 6.0%.
The current KOM holder is Lucas Clarke from Denver who races for Primal Racing who set the time way back in 2014.
Naked Rider holds the QOM. From Arvada, CO she races for Redspoke Racing. Anyone know who this lady is? Is she always naked? Might explain why she's so fast!
After a short descent the roads starts to steadily climb from Golden Gate Canyon for around 11 miles, past Mt Galbraith Park, Guy Hill and Mount Tom. At mile 24 you’ll reach the first of 3 aid stations. You’ll climb over 3,000 feet on this stretch of road including the 2nd timed climb of Tremont Mountain, so make sure you pace yourself!
Remember to take time to eat and drink at the aid stations and stock up as it’s a big day in the saddle!
Just after the first feed station, turning onto Tremont Mountain Base Road the 2nd climb begins. It’s a 3.1 mile climb with 875 feet of climbing, which makes for a tougher average gradient of 5.8% with a stretch of 12% and is rated as a Haute Category 3 climb as used in the Grand Tours.
Professional cyclist Peter Stetina from Santa Rosa, CA who races for Trek-Segafredo holds the KOM. He's currently racing the Tour of Utah. He's closely followed by Craig Lewis Champion System Pro Cycling Team and Taylor Phinney of BMC Racing. These boys have produced VAM's of over 1,200 metres per hour and 350 watt averages up these climbs in Pro races.
Evelyn Stevens from San Francisco, who rides for Boels Dolmans Cycling Team holds the QOM.
There’s a great rest bite after all that climbing, its downhill for around 13 miles so enjoy it!
Heading north onto the Peak to Peak Highway through Rollinsville, past Los Lagos Reservoir before turning east onto Coal Creek Canyon.
Make sure you use the descents to hydrate and eat to replenish your energy stores, there’s still lots of climbing to do.
After the quaint town of Pinecliffe the road kicks up to around 6%. Enjoy the uphill switchbacks to the 3rd feed station at Wondervu Café after 43 miles. You’re just over halfway on the Gran Fondo route.
After the 3rd feed, it’s just under 4 miles of downhill towards Coal Creek Canyon Park, before turning sharp right onto Twin Spruce Road, savour it - cause here comes the 3rd timed climb.
Twin Spruce is 4.7 miles long and climbs 1,368 feet. That’s 5.5% average gradient with a section of 12.2%.
LeRoy Popowski from Juwi Cycling Team is the current KOM record holder.
The QOM record holder is Adelaide Perr from Denver, CO.
You’ll find yourself on the wooded climb of Gap Road with Tremont Mountain on your left, the last 3 miles of Gap Road is hard packed dirt!
Back onto the Peak to Peak Highway for 3 miles on rolling terrain, before turning east towards Golden Gate Canyon Park. The good news is its 9 miles downhill to the last timed climb, having cycled 69 miles.
Again make sure you use the descents to hydrate and eat - to replenish your energy stores. Take time to eat and drink at the aid stations and stock up.
The final climb for Gran Fondo riders. By now your legs will screaming for you to stop. It’s time to grit your teeth and show your true metal!
The longest climb awaits and its 5.3 miles that climbs the final 850 feet. When reach the top it’s not over – you’ll descent before the final kick up the last 150 feet. It’s an average grade of 1.5% that unfortunately hides a leg sapping grade of nearly 15% after the first mile.
Chris Case from Niwot, Colorado who races for EVOL Racing DevoElite Team is the KOM holder.
The QOM is held by Alison Powers from Nederland, Colorado. She is a Cycling coach for ALP Cycles Coaching and national championship wins history maker!
It's all Downhill!
Congratulations! It's 7 miles downhill straight through Golden for food and beer!
You’ve made it! After 81 miles and around 12,000 feet of climbing making the Golden Gran Fondo one of the hardest Gran Fondo’s in America!
The Medio Fondo contains the timed climbs of Pine Ridge and Tremont Mountain and the Piccolo, Pine Ridge and they provide 2 and 1 aid stations respectively.
There are fully stocked aid/feed stations on all the routes to keep you fed and hydrated. A goody bag, water bottle and other various swag items included.
A finishers Medal for completing the Gran Fondo route, awards for age placement, a raffle and of course the chance to win cash and prizes for placement in the overall timed climbs.
The shortest overall combined timed of the sections allows you to compete for:
Custom Winners Jerseys Gran Route age group winners.
Cash for overall top three male and female racers:
1st overall $250
2nd overall $150
3rd overall $100
Age Group Prizes and awards
Fastest Four person team - $1000